I'm making my way through the list and encourage students to do the same ... why not get started over the summer? If you read one of the RICBA books, add a comment below to tell other kids what you thought. Include your last year's room number and initials, but not your full name.
I just finished A Whole New Ballgame by Phil Bildner yesterday, and am waiting for Upside-Down Magic to get delivered to my Kindle (do you know about Overdrive??). So far, though, my favorite of the 14 I've read so far is probably Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hinton. Here's the cover and summary from Goodreads (where I gave it 5 stars):
Inside Out and Back Again meets One Crazy Summer and Brown Girl Dreaming in this novel-in-verse about fitting in and standing up for what’s right.
It's 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimi's appearance is all anyone notices.
She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi’s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade—no matter how many times she’s told no.
This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimi's perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up.